The Best Meal I Ever Had

This will make your mouth water and smile.


For past Writers Club prompts and submissions, click here. You saw the prompt about camp, right? And last week’s beach read? Good. What you’re about to read will make you hungry, by the way, so check out Sami Miro’s sushi suggestions after.

The best meal I ever had
wasn’t a meal
it was a Bloody Mary
every morning the summer of 2013, to be exact.
A mason jar full of vodka and heart-friendly polyphenols
with my best friend in the heart of our college town;
High July in Alabama and as at home as anyone can ever be.
I had a crush on every bartender in the restaurant.

The best meal I ever had
was spaghetti
sprinkled with inexplicable bits of bone
under a metal awning on a hillside in Greece.
(It was the best meal ever
because my grandfather,
with crinkly, mischievous eyes,
told my brother he ordered him beef
and later revealed it to be lamb genitalia.)

The best meal I ever had
was a bowl of ramen in Paris
with a new friend, in a city I had run to
to soothe the wound of being a post-grad.
The broth was mainly butter, bad for your heart but good for your soul.
We both woke at 4 a.m. with a stranded-in-the-desert thirst,
and yet, every Sunday, a text: “Ramen?”

The best meal I ever had
was the morning after New Year’s Eve
back in our hometown during our first year of college
at our favorite high school restaurant.
We began 2011 in giddy, morning-drunk laughter
because under my bootcut gray sweatpants I was wearing the only shoes I had:
glittering, black, pointy-toed stilettos.

The best meal I ever had
has happened many times.
It happens whenever my dad lowers his crab cages
into the murky Severn river
and we drink cheap beer and get Old Bay in our eyes
and I marvel at his picking skills, and feel grateful that he taught me.

You see, I could rhapsodize for days
about burrata, mille-feuille and tender medallions of ostrich,
crunchy golden beets, smoked bacon with caramelized bourbon sauce
and really anything in the sandwich family.
But ambience is nothing without conversation
and appetizers fall flat without affection
and after 23 years of loving food,
there’s one thing I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt:
It ain’t what you’re eating,
it’s who you’re eating it with.

Images via Harpers Bazaar. For past writer’s club prompts and submissions, click here. For a recap of this whole week on MR in one fell swoop, read Esther’s little ditty. And if you haven’t seen Gucci’s Resort 16 show yet, you definitely should.

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  • This is brilliant! (FYI, I did smile!! 😀 )

    Emily x

  • EmC

    Tbh, I cried a little. Brava.

  • Haha, I didn’t think I’d crack up laughing when I saw the title. x

  • Loved this!

  • This was awesome. Loved everything about it, and gave me the greatest sense of nostalgia for some reason.

  • Rhia B.

    Fantastic! I could picture every one… didn’t want it to end.

  • so good!

  • Jessica


  • BK

    Tell me more about these ‘ostrich medallions’

  • I’ll be damned, this is great. Really the best and most true answer to the question…

  • Dana

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  • Marianne Ronsse

    great piece!
    love the food, but what’s the food without the love 😉

  • Love this, as it is so true. The best meals are made by the people around you. Your grandpa sounds exactly like mine 😉

  • Dawn

    What a fantastic piece. I can taste each best. picture the place, and skip a beat at the connections.

  • fatima731

    Gorgeous website, such a nice article because we like this, Stylish
    Outfits are very beautiful, thanks for share this post.

  • This is quite the most delicious thing.

    Side note: My adoption into the sandwich family is still pending. How about yours?

  • Wow! I really, really loved this, Lindsey!

  • amen to that

  • Sage Roth

    Severn River love!

  • lindsey! this was perfect. and even more so on a rainy, grey, monday morning.

  • OMG LINDSEY I GREW UP ON THE MAGOTHY!!!! My parents still live there. When I was a kid I loved going down to the pier to see how many crabs we caught. Ain’t nuthin like crabs covered in old bay and an ice cold beer. A truly lovely (and mouth watering) read.

  • jellymo


  • maddie hulting

    love the shoutout to the severn! i live right on the river and summer means crabbing and old bay!

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  • Brunella

    Best meal I ever had was back home, my mom’s food, after a 15 days trip with my boyfried’s family, eating his mom’s terrible food. My mom made me a sandwich. Simple for her, fantastic to me. I was 17 at the time. I had other best meals after, but this was my first memory while reading the post.

  • Angela Nj.

    Brilliant! I will bookmark this and cherish it forever more!